Showing posts with label The Granary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Granary. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #116. On the craft journey but off piste with two Ciders, Ginger Beer and a Belgian Framboise

 A Quart of Ale± #116

On the craft journey but off piste with two Ciders, Ginger Beer and a Belgian Framboise


Cockagee Irish Keeved Cider 5%, 375ml bottle Le Caveau via Neighbourfood 

In 2016, I wrote that this was “one of the best ciders I have ever tasted”. Glad to report, after a recent tasting, there’s been no change in that opinion of the Cockagee Irish Keeved Cider…

Made in County Meath by Mark Jenkinson, it has a rich amber\gold colour, micro-bubbles constantly rising in the glass. The aromas are impressive too, redolent of the orchard. And on the palate there is a very pleasing concentration of real flavour, layers of the most beautiful flavours, a gentle and complete experience, and then a lovely dry finish as well. This is in a class of its own.

Mark makes it in small batches in his Cider Press in the heart of the Boyne Valley from 100% fresh pressed Irish apples. Each 1000 litre batch is unique and may vary slightly. Serve chilled in a stemmed glass.

Keeving is not the easiest to explain as “it is more intuitive than an exact science”. But Mark gives a good run-down here. Crucially, it preserves the “lovely apple aromas and the rich flavours of the fruit and results in a robust yet smooth cider, complex and full-bodied with a bittersweet twist and a long dry finish.” 

Briefly, Keeving means it is not filtered, not pasteurised, and not sweetened. The fruit sugars are naturally retained as are the intense apple flavours and aromas from the original must. 

Hope that doesn’t sound too complicated. To put it simply, the result is a terrific drink with an ABV of 5% and is very highly recommended.

At one of the Ballymaloe Lit-Fests a few years back, highly respected Food and Drink writer Pete Brown said you can only shake your head with wonder that a process from the 14th or 15th century can still produce a “beautiful natural cider. In a blind tasting, I would class this as Breton and it would be a perfect match with crepes”.


Armagh Craft Dry Cider 4.5%, 500ml bottle Aldi (Mayfield)

Just poured my golden Armagh cider from Aldi and am watching the many bubbles playfully make their way to the top. Orchard smells abound as you sniff and you notice a certain tartiness there too. It is certainly dry on the palate but there’s no shortage of flavours nor of refreshment. 

This refreshing Armagh dry cider is exclusive to Aldi, is vegan and vegetarian friendly, and the label recommends you serve it chilled. They also make a sweet and medium in this series.

For five generations, the Armagh Cider Company have been growing apples on the Troughton family farm in the orchard county of Armagh. “Our apples are carefully hand-picked and matured before they are pressed and fermented in only the smallest of batches. Our apples don’t leave the farm until they are bottled to complete perfection and we take great pride in bringing delicious authentic cider from blossom to bottle to you!”

They farm in Ballinteggart where the ‘From Blossom to Bottle’ culture has been nurtured for five generations. And to where quite a few awards have made their way.


Black Castle Fiery Ginger Beer, 330ml bottle, The Granary Midleton.

It has a murky ginger colour, aromas of ginger too. Spicy enough to take your breath away as it gently burns the mouth. But no harm done at all, just a lively and refreshingly spicy drink that is not too sweet. If you are on BBQ duty, have one of these Irish craft sodas at hand!

In general, fiery ginger beer uses fresh ginger for a kick and cinnamon for added sweetness and spice. And it looks as if Dublin based Black Castle have hit on the correct formula with this spicy wake-up call for your taste buds! Note: if you don’t like ginger, you will not like this!

Black Castle: “Our Ginger Beer is packed full of flavour and just the right amount of heat! Made with rich Muscovado sugar, Ginger Root Extract and infused with a blend of warm Cinnamon and Cardamom spices. Lightly carbonated making it the perfect alternative to alcohol on a night out!”

It is “Hand-made in Co. Wicklow, is Non-Alcoholic and Allergen Free Best served over ice with a wedge of lime! Add it to cocktails such as a Moscow Mule or a Dark n Stormy.”

Their other soda is Berry Bramble Sting. We had that in County Clare previously and you can read about it here .

  • It is touted as an adult drink and indeed it may be best to keep it away from the kids (and from adults who dislike ginger). It is certainly on the fiery side.


Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic Beer 2.5%, Dede at The Custom House Baltimore

Pours a raspberry red, with a pink foamy head, and smells like the fruit. Also tastes like raspberry, probably more on the swallow than on the palate. 

Superb as an aperitif as is often recommended. I didn’t have any raspberries but a handful of early loganberries were at hand and the pairing was fine. The brewers recommended pairing with endive salad. 

I picked this beer up at the deli in the Michelin starred Baltimore restaurant Dede at The Custom House where I’d seen it used as part of the wine pairing for the Tasting Menu where it was paired with the various desserts. Think I may get a few more in Bradley's for the garden for the sunny (oh ye of little faith!) weeks ahead.

Must admit I had been expecting something on the sweet side, after all it is flavoured with raspberry concentrate (20%), sugar and natural sweeteners. But I was more than pleasantly surprised to find it is quite tart.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lobster & Sushi at Granary a Highlight of Midleton Sunday Stroll

Lobster & Sushi at Granary a Highlight of Midleton Sunday Stroll. FEAST 2019
Lobster from the Lobster Man
Food was left, right and centre in Midleton last Sunday as FEAST 2019 reached its finalé. Restraint was called for as there so much on offer. The Lobster and Sushi offering at The Granary had been pinpointed earlier as a likely lunch plate and that was where we found ourselves in the early afternoon.

A big warm welcome and soon we were sitting at our outdoor table awaiting one plate with lobster, the other with sushi, and both also packed with a range of delicious salads. Oh, and not forgetting the glass of wine, all for twenty euro per person. The tables were communal and we like that on these occasions, even more so when on Sunday we were joined by two young gentleman and we went on to have a lovely chat before heading out to all those stalls on the sunny main street.
Okawari supplied the sushi.
Our first stop on Sunday morning was to the demo area where Ballymaloe pastry chef JR Ryall and Ali of Ali's Kitchen were baking a "Raspberry Beret". They had to match their cake to a song and they choose the Prince number. Lots of fun as they got this part of the show on the road and they would be followed by a series of top names in the Irish food community.

Local hotels and restaurants were represented in the many stalls on the main street
and here we see Patryck of Surf and Turf greeting customers.

This bad boy would get busier and busier.

The bees came too! No shortage of wasps either.

Children were very well catered for, especially in the farmers market area.
Here they are busily painting their own tea towels.

We got our dessert from the Bite Size stall, very nice too!
Also at Feast

Sunday, September 10, 2017

FEAST. On the Street. The Main Event

FEAST. On the Street

The Main Event
Family day out. Busy side-street.

From the outset of the rebranded FEAST, Saturday had been billed as The Main Event. And the crowds of people up and down Midleton’s Main Street and side streets and in the Farmer’s Market, demonstrated just that. And, once again, the weather played its part, the odd shower no deterrent at all to those strolling and snacking, and those eating a tad more seriously at the long outdoor table opposite the Restaurant Tent where some eleven restaurants were selling delicious small plates at a fiver each.
Ethiopian stall

But is wasn't just the restaurants. Lots of other food (Green Saffron were busy, as always) available as well under the mainly blue sky. Great too to see the local butchers, including Jim Crowley and Frank Murphy, on the street, bakers too and coffee makers. No shortage of sweet stuff as you made your way between the various hot-spots.
The Granary Crew

The Demo Marquee was a magnet as Bertha’s Revenge Gin, Patrick Ryan’s sourdough, and various chefs, including Ciaran Scully, Lilly Higgins, Kevin Aherne and Martin Shanahan kept the punters entertained. Down in the Distillery, you could enjoy a premium whiskey tasting and Carol Quinn’s talk on the  history of whiskey here for a tenner.

Opposite the restaurant area was where the long table was situated and just beyond there was a packed children's zone with music shows, puppet shows, and amusements. The siting of the table and the amusement space close together was great for parents and I saw more than a few taking turns at the table and then relieving the partner on child duty!

The regular Farmer’s Market was also buzzing. Maybe one day, all will be accommodated on Main Street but on Saturday the traders were doing well. Had a friendly word with the Lobsterman who I’d met in Rostellan the evening before. Baker Declan Ryan was, as ever, on duty at Arbutus stall while Noreen Conroy was as busy and as friendly as ever at Woodside Farm. Nearby, at the Courthouse, the friendly GIY folk were dishing out advice on what to grown, how to grow it and when.
Monkfish, chorizo, flatbread by Samphire (at Garryvoe Hotel)

Back on Main Street, it was hard to make choices. Would have been a gargantuan feat to sample something from all eleven restaurants! And that would leave out all the others. Tough. I had heard on the Twitter that Farmgate’s Chowder was a thing of splendour but by then I had had my fill.

One of the highlights was the Monkfish and chorizo flatbread served by head chef Kevin at the Samphire (Garryvoe Hotel) stand. The crab beignet by Pier 26 went down well. Jack and his team at the Granary Cafe stand were busy and their massive baked Rooster (with Ballinrostig nettle and  cream cheese and Gubbeen chorizo) was quite a treat and I also got a few pastries here to bring home.
Garlic selection

Indeed, that bag for home filled rapidly. Included were the Mango, Peach and habanero chutney a new product from the Rebel Chilli lads, some garlic (including Avram, Lautrec, and Pink Marble) from West Cork Garlic, a bag of Honduran coffee beans from  Badger & Dodo and 30-day aged beef from Woodside. Happy out, as we headed west from F-EAST! Here’s to next year.
Busy butcher Jim Crowley
See other posts from FEAST 2017